Spoofing is an illegal tactic used by some spouses to fabricate evidence that can be used against the other spouse in divorce litigation. Spoofing involves entering a fake telephone number to appear in another person’s caller ID instead of the actual originating phone number. Why would someone do this? To falsify evidence that the other spouse is making harassing phone calls or falsify their whereabouts. For example, in an adultery case, a spouse may use spoofing to call the innocent spouse, faking where they are calling from, to establish proof they are on a business trip, when in fact they are with their lover in the same town as the innocent spouse.
How is this done? “Spoofcards,” or prepaid telephone cards that change the telephone number, which is displayed on the caller ID, can be purchased by anyone. Spoofcards can be used to access a spouse’s voicemail. Many voicemails are set up to accept the account holder’s cell phone number, which is what can be “spoofed.” Be sure to password protect your voicemail and disable any automatic functions.
Spoofcards can also be used to send inappropriate text messages to a parenting plan evaluator or therapist, making it appear that the other spouse is sending the inappropriate message. Other examples include using spoofcards to pretend to be the other spouse’s CPA and text a fax number for confidential information to be sent to.
Florida has enacted the “Caller ID Anti-Spoofing Act,” criminalizing the practice of spoofing. Under Section 817.487, Fla. Stat. (2013), callers who enter false data that misrepresents the caller’s identity can be guilty of a criminal offense. The Act specifically covers landline, cell phone and VOIP Internet calls.
If you or someone you know needs help in a divorce case, contact an experienced family attorney.